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Policies & Regulations

Agriculture Acquisition Regulation (AGAR)

The Agriculture Acquisition Regulation (AGAR) prescribes policies and procedures that implement and supplement the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).

USDA AGAR Class Deviations



Effective Date


AGAR Class Deviation – Regarding Agriculture Acquisition Regulation (AGAR) Clause 452.204-70 (PDF, 157 KB)

404.804, 413.302.5



USDA Contracting Desk Book

The USDA Contracting Desk Book (PDF, 2.0 MB) (PGI) is a depiction of policies, procedures, guidance and information. The PGI is a supplement to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and the Agriculture Acquisition Regulation (AGAR).

Federal Activities Inventory Reform (FAIR) Act

The Federal Activities Inventory Reform (FAIR) Act and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-76 require agencies to prepare inventories of the commercial and inherently governmental activities performed by Federal employees. One of the main components of the inventory is to classify Federal positions as inherently governmental or commercial in nature.

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is the primary regulation for use by all Federal Executive agencies in the acquisition of supplies and services with appropriated funds.

Federal Acquisition Regulation 36.211

Per FAR 36.211(b), USDA provides the following information regarding USDA’s definitization of equitable adjustments for change orders under construction contracts:

Time to definitize after receipt of an adequate change order definitization proposal under construction contracts

Number of change order proposals definitized under construction contracts

30 days or less


31 to 60 days


61 to 90 days


91 to 180 days


181 to 365 days


366 or more days


After completion of contract performance via a contract modification addressing all undefinitized equitable adjustments received during contract performance


USDA Category Management

Category Management is the practice of buying common goods and services smarter as an organized enterprise in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of acquisition activities. This means buying to get more value and savings by identifying core areas – categories of spend, using data to consolidate and reduce contracts when possible, better managing suppliers and demand, and reducing the total cost of ownership.  USDA created Category Management Supplemental Instruction, effective March 1, 2021.

USDA Qualification Requirements

USDA activities have a variety of needs for which it is critical that vendors provide products of the highest quality and reliability. These products must be capable of being used with products already in USDA’s inventory, and with products supplied by other vendors. Accordingly, qualification requirements (QRs) may be defined for USDA activities including systems of application, testing and record keeping, to assure that products, vendors, or manufacturers are tested and qualified prior to contract award. USDA lists qualification requirements on competitions for certain goods and services at the following link: Qualification Requirements

USDA Service Contract Inventories

Service Contract Inventories are posted in accordance with section 743(a) of Division C of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (Pub. L. 111-117), which requires agencies to report annually to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on activities performed by service contractors. Section 743(a) applies to executive agencies, other than the Department of Defense (DoD), covered by the Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act (Pub. L. 105-270) (FAIR Act).

Vendor Communication Plan

The purpose of the Department of Agriculture Vendor Communication Plan is to provide better direction to the workforce and to clarify the nature and portfolio of engagement opportunities for industry. This plan discusses how the Department of Agriculture will reduce unnecessary barriers, publicize communication opportunities, and prioritize engagement opportunities. We are pleased to share this Vendor Communication Plan with stakeholders from both inside and outside of the Department.